Interview with an indie author – G G Collins

Why go indie?

Why not go indie? I worked at a traditional book publisher and observed the way writers were treated. Even solicited manuscripts would sit around in stacks for months. Much of the time they were never read. One day frustration would take over the office and they were all returned, unread with a rejection card. Those authors who were lucky enough to make it to a pub date were mostly ignored after publication—unless the author was a self-promoter. We would send out a handful of advance galleys in the States to places such as Publishers Weekly, Library Journal, Kirkus, The New York Times. Sometimes we would assist the author in getting a few interviews on early morning TV in their community. That was it. If the book didn’t sell, it was remaindered.

With this in mind, I decided to publish Reluctant Medium via the indie route. Yes, it’s time consuming, but you know, it’s mostly fun. Really, it can be fun marketing and promoting your own book. I like the control I have over things like cover image (which I did myself—art major) and in setting up my blog and reaching out to readers.

How do you define indie?

It’s the self-service of publishing. You write, edit, create your cover, upload to retail outlets, then market and promote it yourself. I didn’t think I’d like reading books on a Kindle, but I did! That’s when I knew, I’d publish my paranormal mystery as an eBook. I haven’t looked back. Indies are the future of publishing. It’s likely the brick and mortar publishers will perish like the dinosaurs.

The important thing for indies to remember? Quality. Take advantage of professional editors, cover designers and formatters for the best possible results.

Summarise your writing style in 100 words or less

Fast-paced and fun; throw in some suspense mixed with a dash of horror; add a buddy story between two women friends; whip in a cynical fact-based character in a situation that cannot be explained; beat a couple people to death with a supernatural being and you’ve got reporter Rachel Blackstone in over her head. Servings never run out and seconds are welcome.

Who do you feel has influenced your writing the most?

It all began when I read my first mystery, Shirley Jackson’s We Have Always Lived in the Castle. I was a kid reading my first grown-up book and, wow, what an ending. I was hooked. A few years later I discovered the metaphysical watching Dark Shadows. From there, Stephen King was the natural choice. As an adult, I was introduced to Shirley MacLaine. Her book, Out on a Limb, changed the way I perceived a lot of things. Along the way, I’ve read some great authors like Chaim Potok. My Name is Asher Lev was assigned reading in college. What a terrific storyteller!

Do you aspire to be like any ‘trad’ or indie author?

No, I’m an original and I’d like to remain me, with all the quirks, flaws and other characters who reside in there. (No, I don’t know how many there are.)

Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?

Write. Never give up. Don’t believe in writer’s block—I don’t. Working on newspaper deadlines will knock that notion right out of the park. There is no shame in trying the traditional route to publication, but neither is there any reason not to go the indie path. There is a steep learning curve at first, but you can do it.

List your top five websites for publishing, marketing or writing:

My new favorite is Smashwords.com. Once in their premium catalog, the world really opens for your book. Even Amazon, also a fav, doesn’t reach as many countries as Smashwords. But Amazon’s KDP (Kindle Direct Publishing) is an easy way to begin. Goodreads and Shelfari are great for reaching readers, learning what they enjoy and making a few friends along the way. You can also pick up reviews there. A few bloggers who have been wonderful to me are the Paranormal Book Club, Chompasaurus Reviews and Kindle Book Promos. They’ve all done interviews and/or reviews. Book bloggers who feature authors and reviews are the way to go for indie eBook authors. Without them, eBooks might be forever lost in cyberspace.

I’d like to add Indie eBooks. You are my first interview in the United Kingdom and I appreciate the introduction. I’ve had quite a bit of traffic from the UK to my blog (http://reluctantmediumatlarge.wordpress.com/) and your visits are appreciated. I’ve been amazed at the number of countries that have found my blog, which I admit, sometimes leans toward the weird. But it also has a lot of information about Santa Fe if you’d like to visit, along with area ghost stories. I also post about publishing. My thanks to all my visitors and especially my followers.

Where can we find you, and what books do you have out now?

Reluctant Medium is my first book. It’s a paranormal mystery about reporter Rachel Blackstone, the reluctant medium. It can be found at Smashwords and at Amazon.

I’m currently working on the next in the Reluctant Medium Series called Lemurian Medium which I hope to release early next year. In this story, Rachel takes to the astral plane to save a friend and solve the mystery of the strange artist who has come to town. The action takes place again in Santa Fe, New Mexico—except while taking wrong turns on the astral freeway.

Check in anytime at my blog if you have questions or comments. You can also find me on Goodreads and Shelfari.

Why did you choose the theme you did for your book?

Ah yes, returning the dead; just as commonplace as making up the shop list. I ran across a real ceremony for bringing back the dead. Well, the first thing that pops into my mind: What if the wrong spirit returned? Before I could go beyond a few points scratched out on a napkin, I found my dream job—that of a reporter. But when my column inches were filled and my stories filed, I would write about a reporter who learned about the ceremony in an interview with a Hopi shaman.

As you’ve likely guessed, the wrong spirit returned. Not the father she hoped to talk with one last time, but an evil spirit intent on revenge. Rachel’s ill-equipped to return it. But she and friend Chloe give it their best shot.

Despite persistent rumors, the two women don’t smoke all that much pot, but it does help them over the rough spots and Chloe will keep her silver box handy. But it may not be enough for our intrepid reporter as she tries to put the genie back in the bottle.

Author Bio:

A seasoned reporter, G G Collins has racked up a lot of column inches, a few awards and a writing fellowship at Duke University. She never met a story she didn’t like, although some interviews were challenging, a few obnoxious. But reporting is always exciting, exploring the rooftops of skyscrapers, meeting in clandestine locations, getting an exclusive story, and occasionally being a tad alarmed at someone’s behavior. (Know where the exits are!) It’s all in a day’s work. Of course, there’s the ever present question of how to dress: jacket for the interview with the visiting entertainer or jeans for the aviation hangar story? Forget wardrobe, make sure there are notebooks, recorders and extra batteries.

But there was another side lurking, just waiting to write its way out. This side of her personality is fond of the strange, the frightening, the metaphysical.
The day she discovered the Hopi ceremony to call back the dead, she just had to ask the question: What would happen if the wrong spirit came back? “Reluctant Medium” resulted.

Besides writing and reading, Collins enjoys travel, equestrian activities, hiking, movies and arts. Most days, she lives above the northern Horse Latitudes.

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New Season! Interview with an indie author – Tom Abrahams

Why go indie?

I decided to publish independently because I was frustrated with the
traditional route.  I figured I could let my book sit and gather dust, or I
could put it out there for the world (or at least extended family and
friends), and hope to find an audience for my writing.  So far the response
has been positive, so I think I made the right choice.

How do you define indie?

Wow.  That’s a tough question.  I think I’m still defining it.  But to me,
indie is a group of writers who’ve taken control of their work and decided
to aggresively pursue a career at publishing books.

Summarise your writing style in 100 words or less

Even tougher question.  Now I am down to just 88 words left….I think my
writing style is entertaining, relevant, funny, well-researched, and full
of soul.  Okay, maybe not full of soul, but that sounded cool, right?  My
writing is easy to read and thought provoking.  Of that, I’m sure.

Who do you feel has influenced your writing the most?

I’ve always been a reader.  And I’ve always gravitated to stories that
blend fact with fiction.  So Michael Crichton is likely the biggest
influence.  Tom Clancy and Dan Brown are big influences too.

Do you aspire to be like any ‘trad’ or indie author?

Nope.  I just wanna be me.  I’d like to forge my own path.  While it would
be flattering to be compared to other authors (I’ve been compared to
Baldacci and Clancy), I’m just happy being me.

Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?

Don’t give up.  As a journalist (my day job), I believe everybody has a
story.  I think the same is true for writers.

List your top five websites for publishing, marketing or writing:

indiebooks.co.uk  :-)
Goodreads,
Kindle book review,
Writer’s literary cafe,
Bookblogs.ning.com

Where can we find you, and what books do you have out now?

Tom Abrahams Bio picI just published a political thriller called Sedition, which you can read about at http://seditionbook.com  It’s also available for sale at Amazon,
iBooks, and B&N.

My twitter handle is @seditionbook

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My Last Confession

There’s a new (free) short story available from Michael Brookes: My Last Confession.

If you get a chance to read it, please take the time to leave a review and perhaps pick his the novel – The Cult of Me from Amazon.

To learn more about Michael check out his blog.

 

 

See also:

- Indie e-books now open for submissions

- Short stories as a marketing tool?

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September break

I’ll be away for two weeks and likely unable to post or respond to emails – apologies in advance and see you on the other side…

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Pros and cons of going indie

The ups and downs of indie publishing…  From creative control to the ‘big marketing problem’  What motivates/de-motivates our indie authors?
 

Eric Diehl

:)

“the immediacy of the process”

“the increased level of control”

“pricing. Not only do I garner a larger percentage of the sales price as the author’s share, but with some exceptions I can set and/or change the pricing any way I see fit.”

:(

“the lingering stigma attached to self-published works”

John Porter

:)

“The freedom”..”I sink or swim on the merits of what I do.”

“it’s soooo good to get reader’s feedback.”

:(

“I don’t like seeing the thousands of samples being downloaded, and only a comparatively small percentage being converted into actual sales.”

Brandon Luffman

:)

“we’re seeing the early stages of this new revolution, where anyone who has a story to tell can get their work out there.”

“Now the reader can decide if an author’s work is worth reading or not – which is how it should be.”

:(

“the stereotype of indie authors: Poorly proofread, unedited, and of questionable talent.”

“it’s up to us, the readers, to pick through the sea of writing that is out there to find what is good. But, I still think it’s worth it – absolutely so! – because I have discovered authors who I know would never have been picked up by traditional publishers, but who do great work.”

Tina Glasneck

:)

“my favorite part of indie publishing would be the cover creation.”

:(

“Keeping track of numbers and sales”

“No one wants to be the person saying, “Buy my book,” and come across as a used car salesman.”

MR Cornelius

:)

“not losing creative control of my work.”

:(

“the marketing”

Deborah J Hughes

:)

“Hearing back from readers!”

:(

“Marketing! It’s very, very challenging and time consuming to get the word out about my book.”

Anthea Carson

:)

“The independence of course.”…”If I followed the scripts of the publishing world I would gag on my word processor.”

“I get to pick out my own book cover and set my own price.”

:(

“When you are totally indie you answer for yourself. You say, “Hey buddy, I thought it was good enough. And that was good enough for me.””

R Stephenson

:)

“Promotion. No one is more enthusiastic about promoting my work than me.”

:(

“Editing. I thought I had a grasp on the rules of grammar. Turns out I’m a bit rusty.”

Rosemary Lynch

:)

“Seeing your story come to life and holding your book in your hands for the first time ~ it’s a magical moment”

:(

“Advertising! Not very good at the publicity side of it all, but learning new avenues every day.”

J. Naomi Ay

:)

“It’s fast and easy and I control it.”

:(

“The marketing. It’s a big pond but right now it’s overflowing with fish.”

Melissa Love

:)

“Choosing my own writing style and if I want to add or change any part of the book, I don’t have to go through a third party.”

Jeremy Laszlo

:)

“the learning process has been my favorite part,”

“hearing from all of my fans”

:(

“the anxiousness and uncertainty that comes with each new book I publish.”

Darlene Jones

:)

“Having control over everything and being able to do it all on my timeline.”

:(

“The marketing. It’s time consuming and I feel like I’m batting people over the head trying to get them to buy my book.”

Whitney Moore

:)

“not having anyone tell me that I can’t do something within the process. Since I have a degree in graphic design, cover art and interior layouts are important to me.”

“I like being able to write and publish absolutely any idea you could ever have and seeing if there is an audience for it rather than someone telling you the ‘rules of fiction’ and saying there is no market before it’s even been tried.”

Larissa Hinton

:)

“the ability to make major decisions. I get to decide where, when and how I will publish my books.”

“I can write in whatever genre I wish.”

:(

“all of (the) publishing business detracts from the writing process.”

Elizabeth Baxter

:)

“I just love the whole process.” “My most favorite part is probably when I’ve got all the proofs back, the cover finished and I can start putting the file together ready for publishing.”

:(

“Fiddling with file when I should be leaving it alone!”

Sarka-Jonae Miller

:)

“creative control.” “Even if I signed a deal with a major publishing house in the future I would be in a better bargaining position having gone the indie route first and gaining some success on my own.”

:(

“It takes a lot more time to get people to hear about your book”

“so many people won’t even consider self-published books or books published by small publishers for reviews or awards.”

David Berger

:)

“The control”

:(

“Marketing. I’m an introvert, so putting myself out there into the world and drawing attention isn’t my normal place to be.”

Deanna Lynn Sletten

:)

“having total control over everything from the writing of the book to the editing and formatting”

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Would you take a book deal?

Why go indie? After the independence of the indie route if you were offered the chance to go ‘trad’ would you take it?
 

Eric Diehl

I would certainly consider it, depending on the terms, if for no other reason than the fact that I still have little name recognition out there in the big world. If and when I do gain a significant indie following, then a contract would become a much harder sell.

Brandon Luffman

I’ve learned to never say never. I’m not opposed to the traditional publishing system, but there are benefits to being independent that the traditional publishers can’t normally match. I would consider an offered book deal, but knowing what I know now, chances are good that I would turn it down. There’s a lot to be said for the assistance that a traditional publisher can offer. If you can simplify your life, that’s often the best route. But, being independent gives you a lot of value for all the work you have to put in.

Tina Glasneck

It would all depend on the parameters of the book deal. Most writers will never become rich from their work, I am aware of that, and I don’t write for the sole purpose of gaining wealth; there are easier ways of doing that, I hear.

No, I write to tell stories that are screaming to get out of my head! It’s magical seeing something in your mind and bringing it forth. Story-telling allows readers to participate in the writer’s imagination; it allows the reader to shift from one world to another – either make believe or another version of this reality. There is something great about being able to make stuff up for a living and to follow one’s passion in doing it! If the book deal would hinder my creativity by placing constraints on what I could do, should produce or the market niche I am to chase after, then I would have to decline it.

MR Cornelius

Good question. Maybe I’d take a book deal for a hardback or paperback because the traditional publishers can get you into the big-box stores. But why would I need them for e-books? I’ve got Amazon for that.

Deborah J Hughes

Yes!  But I would want to retain my rights to e-publishing.  Much as I love having my book read electronically…I would love to walk into a book store and see my books on their shelves!

Anthea Carson

Ah ha! The old, ‘you only are self published by necessity not by choice’ trick. Well, I am currently offered a publishing deal from the same publisher who published my other books, and I am truly struggling to decide whether to go with her. The one condition, she says, is that I can no longer offer my book The Dark Lake as an indie book. She thinks those indie books are trash. I don’t agree, and I don’t think there is more money going with her. I will still have to do all the work of promoting, and I will be added the extra burden of trying to sell a book for more than people wish to pay for it. I will take pretty much the same amount of money from each sale. I don’t see the advantage, but on the other hand, like I said before, I like hiding behind respectability. Now if the deal were great, and it was a well known publisher, and they were going to do all the promoting, and I was going to make large sums of money and be on talk shows and have their name backing me up, I would take that deal.

R Stephenson

Only if I could retain full rights to the electronic version of my work.

Rosemary Lynch

If it was the right deal, yes.

J. Naomi Ay

I don’t know.  There’s a lot of opinions on going indie and retaining your rights and royalties vs. having that big budget marketing and possible film exposures.  I’d love to have to make that decision though.  Bring them on!

Melissa Love

It depends on the publishing company – if it was a top publishing company then I would say yes.

Jeremy Laszlo

I am not a person to close a door before ever having looked inside.  That being said, it would have to be a very sweet deal of the likes they never give to new authors.  So for me it is unlikely, but not completely written off just yet.

Darlene Jones

That would depend on the deal. I think traditional publishing is falling by the wayside. The tradional publishers missed out on the whole electronic scene.

Emiliana Erriquez

I really don’t know. I mean, I like being an indie very much. But it depends, maybe yes, maybe not.

Whitney Moore

I don’t know. I’ve thought about this often. I wonder if I would because I’ve heard of indies getting picked up and the publisher then having them re-edit their book and changing it totally. It’s not always a bad thing and editing is definitely something I am obsessive about in my own work but it reinforces my conviction that in the mainstream market there is definitely only one type of book dressed in multiple genres.

Larissa Hinton

I would definitely consider it and start sending off letters to agents who might be interested in reviewing the contract. But would I automatically sign the dotted line without double checking with the terms? No. Would I shove it away and snub it in their face? Absolutely not. I am willing to give all opportunities an equal and fair chance.

Elizabeth Baxter

That’s a tough question. It would depend on the deal. It would have to offer me something that self-publishing doesn’t and I’m a little skeptical that it could do that. Having said that, I’ve heard of a lot of indie publishers taking traditional contracts, so I’d have to sit down and give it some serious thought.

Sarka-Jonae Miller

Probably. I think Between Boyfriends would make a great movie and it would have a much better chance getting there with help from a large publishing house. However, I would not take the book deal if it meant I had to change the ending or shorten my three-book series. I firmly believe that characters should develop in a believable timeline. My main character, Jan, is truly a sweet person inside but needs years to fix the type of insecurities and issues she has. Watching her grow and learn and repair relationships overtime is part of the fun. When she finally gets her happy ending it will seem real and more importantly she will have earned it. Would it have been as satisfying if Big and Carrie worked everything out in season 2 of Sex and the City? Not at all. We watched them grow and struggle for 10 years (in TV/movie time) before they finally got together. It takes as long as it takes.

David Berger

That would depend on the deal. I’m not willing to relinquish any creative control or any authorial control, but I would be open to a traditional publisher picking up my work.

Deanna Lynn Sletten

I would love a book deal if I could set the terms. It would have to be a very patient publisher.

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12 Precious Anecdotes of Life, by Payal Roy

Rating: 2.5 stars

Genre: Inspirational fiction

A set of short stories shared by ‘the lead fictitious protagonist Anita Maher’ and designed to either inspire you, or change your outlook on life.  The common theme here is to appreciate life and those around you and although the stories may have been well formulated it still needs some work.

My biggest concern with this anthology starts at the beginning when our narrator ‘Anita’ is described as a professional editor.  It’s clear as you continue to read that these stories have not been professionally edited – the speech is at times too formal and there are multiple grammatical errors.

Although inspiring, I just couldn’t get past this discrepancy.

See also:

- Author page

- Reviews: some general rules

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How to influence an indie author?

Who were the influential players in the current indie author movement?  The writers who inspired this current generation of writers? 
 
In this bout at least I’d argue that Stephen King reigns triumphant… but that’s from a varied mix of both classic and modern authors.  Here’s a snapshot:
 

Eric Diehl

The stories that transformed me from a struggling young reader to a kid reading above his grade level were the old Norse and Greek mythologies…

Frank Herbert’s Dune got me hooked on science fiction and Stephen King had me for a while-though I’ve mostly parted company now it still amazes me how he can take such a dumb-sounding plot and write an engaging novel based on it; like Thinner, or Cujo.

More recently I’d have to put George RR up top, but I’ve also greatly enjoyed Greg Keyes, Patrick Rothfuss, Joe Abercrombie and others.

John Porter

Spike Milligan, John Wyndham, Douglas Adams, Ray Bradbury, Dylan Thomas, Roald Dahl, Tom Sharp, H H Munroe, and Bryce Courtney.

Brandon Luffman

My favorites are Stephen King and Dean Koontz. They both deal in subjects that I find my own writing turning toward and their styles are similar to the way I write. In fact, Dean Koontz gave me a minor epiphany recently with regards to inspiration: I was reading one of his books, possibly one of the Odd Thomas novels, when I was struck by the nature of what it really means to be inspired by someone’s work. When we talk about being inspired by someone, we usually mean something like “I want to produce similar work to this person” or perhaps “I want to be able to develop this level of talent”. But, true inspiration is more than that. When someone really inspires you, as Koontz did with me, you experience their work and it makes you want to engage your own work more fully. It’s not a desire to emulate or copy them, but rather, you feel an urge to do your own thing and maybe reach that level of competence in the art.

Tina Glasneck

Jude Deveraux, Karen Marie Moning, and Charlaine Harris are my top three authors. Although I do not write historical, contemporary or even paranormal romance, I love the experience they are able to impart through their stories. Their storytelling ability is, in my opinion, worth admiring!

In my genre of romantic suspense, I would say I have been influenced by the works of Allison Brennan and Lisa Gardner, as well as Karen Rose. They all have a grittiness in style that I enjoy to read.

MR Cornelius

I’m not sure if these authors influenced me, but I certainly enjoy reading John Sandford, Nelson DeMille, Robert B. Parker, Lee Childs. Yes, I know . . . all male authors. Recently, I’ve gotten into Martha Grimes. And I’ve read a lot of Patricia Cornwell. I read a lot of women authors, as well, and now that I’m thinking about it, they probably influenced the romantic relationship between my two main characters, Rick and Taeya.

Deborah J Hughes

In my younger years, I was very influenced by Kathleen Woodiwiss!  At one time (okay, I still do!) I wanted to be a romance writer.  I am an avid romance reader and always will be but I also love paranormal stories.  There are a ton of great romance books available on the market but good ghost stories (like I like them) are hard to find.  I don’t like horror as in gore and terror.  I like spooky.  I like stories involving real to life situations involving paranormal phenomena.  Those kinds of stories are hard to find.  Another writer who influenced me early on is Stephen King.  I loved The Shining and The Stand (among other works of his as well but most particularly these two!).  I also love Stephen King’s On Writing…that book really got me going again with my own writing.  I can’t say as if any one author influences me now as I am influenced by so very many!

Anthea Carson

Marcel Proust, William Faulkner, Daphne Du Maurier, Truman Capote, and a couple of books here and there like Peachtree Road, by Ann Rivers Siddon, and Lost Girls, by Andrew Pyper, and the Girl in a Swing by Richard Adams. I also notice influence of Doris Miles Disney.

R Stephenson

Stephen King, Lee Child, Vince Flynn, J.K. Rowling, Michael Crichton, John Grisham.

Rosemary Lynch

Enid Blyton, CS Lewis and Terry Goodkind.

J. Naomi Ay

I love so many authors both contemporary and classic.  I can’t really say who might have influenced me the most. 

Melissa Love

Kiki Swinson ~ author of the Wifey books.

Darlene Jones

I don’t think I can single out any one. I try to emulate authors who write well and tell a good story, one that makes you think, makes you want to keep reading, and makes you feel a bit sad when it’s over.

Emiliana Erriquez

Well, first Oriana Fallaci, as I said before. She is one of my favourite writers and the one who inspired me most, together with Isabelle Allende. I would never tire of reading their books. But I have also read some great novelists such as Jane Austen, Virginia Wolf, Henry James, Salinger, Hemingway while I was at university so I think all this will have also influenced me somehow.

Whitney Moore

I started reading thrillers and science-fiction when I was 10 and I read all but two of Michael Crichton’s books by the time I was 12. Then I discovered Douglas Adams and as much as Michael Crichton made me want to write about dinosaurs, Douglas Adams made me want to write period! He was the most exciting writer I had ever read and I’ve read the entire series of Hitchhiker’s Guide three times. Oscar Wilde was my next big influence.

Larissa Hinton

The top five authors that have shaped me into the author I am today are: Bruce Coville, Meg Cabot, Shel Silverstein, Stephenie Meyer and Andrea Cremer.

Elizabeth Baxter

When I was younger I was a huge fan of Stephen Donaldson so when I look through my old manuscripts they are just like his work. Then a bit later on, I became a huge Robin Hobb fan, so my work from around that time is like hers. These days I like to think I’ve found my own style. I love the work of George RR. Martin and Steven Erikson and if my own work could get to even a tenth of their standard, I’d be happy!

Sarka-Jonae Miller

I read a variety of books in different genres, but the only book I have finished so far is chick lit so I guess I’d have to narrow down my influences to that genre. I’d say Risa Green has been a big influence. Her main characters are not all sugar and spice and everything nice, nor do they always hold the popular opinions. I respect Risa Green for writing outside of the box. I also think that Sophie Kinsella/Madeline Wickham is an influence. She has certainly shown that one person can write with very different styles in the same genre, which I think helped influence me to play around with my style and find my voice.  Emma McLaughlin, Nicola Kraus and Lauren Weisberger have influenced me too. They all have a rather unique, sometimes cutting and sometimes cutesy, sense of humor.

David Berger

Even though I write fantasy, and writers like David Eddings, Terry Goodkind, Terry Brooks, Piers Anthony, J. R. R. Tolkien, et al have influenced my fantasy side, I also feel that people like Maya Angelou, Gabriel García Márquez, Isabel Allende, and Mikhail Lermontov have influenced me. Their works, more grounded in reality (although García Márquez and Allende write Magical Realism), have shown me more complex styles to emulate.

Deanna Lynn Sletten

I’m not sure if these authors influenced me because I would never say that I write like any of them, but they did influence my love of reading. F. Scott Fitzgerald for his wit and smooth writing style, Louisa May Alcott because Little Women was the first book I fell in love with and of course, Charlotte Bronte, because I just love the beautiful old-time writing style of Jane Eyre.

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Speed Dating with the Dead, by Scott Nicholson

“When Digger Wilson brings his paranormal team Spirit Seekers International to the White Horse Inn, he is skeptical that his dead wife will keep her half of the bargain. He doesn’t believe in ghosts, and just before she died, she promised to meet him there…


Rating: 4.5 stars

Genre: Horror/Paranormal

I picked this book up during an Amazon freebie and you know?  I’m glad I did.  Although I wouldn’t quite slot it into the Stephen King box it was entertaining, at times funny, and overall well crafted. If I had to ‘assign’ a genre I’d go for tongue-in-cheek paranormal mystery – a bit like Warehouse 13 meets Supernatural.

And this book is not new to a review or two.  Of the lot (generally positive), the most scathing read something along the lines of ‘there was too much cussing’ (is it bad if I didn’t even notice this?) and ‘not psychological enough’ (well that’s a question of taste perhaps…).

As for constructive criticism.  I agree with some, that the long list of characters was at times confusing (especially the kooks), but this was often solved by reading a little further.  It also frustrated me that Roach was so gullible – I kinda wished he’d had a larger part to play.

Overall it wasn’t scary in a ‘read under the covers’ kinda way, but I enjoyed the paranormal, ‘tongue-in-cheek’ action.  Some good, light-hearted kinda twisted fun. :)

See also:

- Author page

- Reviews: some general rules

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Why go indie?

From acting on a whim to addressing the problem of this artificial bottleneck that agents and publishers seem to have been perpetuating (and who also seem happy to send out cursory and generic rebuttals).  Did you think everyone had a similar reason for going indie?
 

Eric Diehl

Well, first off, I’d like to say that I have no real problems with Double Dragon Publishing, who published my first novel (Water Harvest). The publisher (Deron Douglas) is a nice guy; accessible and quick to respond. He also does nice cover artwork, and it’s pleasing to get the recognition of being formally “published”, even if that’s just in my own head. There were a few quirks in the process here and there, (like oddball formatting in the version that went to Kindle), which I mostly had to find and fix myself, and as best I can tell it appears that promotion of the manuscript is mostly up to the author anyway (although my book did share the limelight on the main KDP webpage for the duration of the month it was introduced). When I later became aware of the relative ease involved in self-publishing, through web-based services like Smashwords and Kindle, I decided to give it a try with my second novel and my anthology.

John Porter

Indie books present an easy way to publish both major works, as well as experimental pieces freely and quickly. To reach such a wide potential readership so simply is impossible any other way.  The other big benefit is the numerous methods available to introduce readers to my books with free sampling, and even free complete short stories taken from compilations. Once I have a reader who enjoys my samples, I have a customer.

Brandon Luffman

Initially, I didn’t really think about indie publishing. It was something I was aware of, but I hadn’t really given it much thought. However, after releasing some short work in ebook formats and seeing what it was like, I loved it!

Tina Glasneck

Due to the publishing market, and its fluctuation, I decided to try my own luck by remaining in full control of my novel, Thou Shall Not.  After doing my own research over the last several years, and finding out that there are many successful indie authors, I knew that I too could proceed down this challenging but very rewarding road.

MR Cornelius

I have an agent who tried for over a year to find me a publisher. Each time she got rejected, it was for a different reason. Some editors like my two main characters, others didn’t. Of all the rejections, we couldn’t find two who agreed on why they wouldn’t commit to the book. My agent finally suggested that I self-publish. It’s interesting, now that I’m getting reviews for H10 N1, a lot of reviewers have conflicting opinions on the book, too. Everyone seems to like something different in the story.

Deborah J Hughes

Well, I decided to go indie because the process of finding an agent was taking FOREVER!  I’d received several nice replies but no takers.  It sometimes takes months to get a reply and then more queries must go out if all the replies (what few you get) are negative.  I’m not getting any younger!  Once I learned how quick and easy it was to upload a book on Barnes and Noble, Amazon and Smashwords, I didn’t hesitate with my decision.  I found an editor and once we felt the book was polished enough to share with the masses, we loaded it up and I was published!  Honestly, I don’t know why any writer would not go this route.  But, to each his own.

Anthea Carson

I had been published by a small publisher, and I enjoyed it, but I longed for the control and independence that comes with being an indie author. I also knew that being published by a traditional publisher whether large or small still meant doing all my own promoting. I resent the idea that I do all my own promoting and then turn around and give my publisher a large chunk of my profit. If publishers are no longer willing to put the investment in to promote their authors, what do we need them for? We used to need them for large scale printing. That’s no longer the case as we can now use print on demand and print only the number of copies we need. Even if there are editing issues, small numbers of copies printed means it is very easy to fix typos and other editing issues. And now, with Kindle, we can publish without killing a single tree. We don’t really even need Amazon, because they don’t really provide all that much more exposure, we still need to get most of our audience through our own blood, sweat and tears. So why exactly do we need publishers again?

I love the independence of that!

R Stephenson

I wanted to have total control of my work.  The royalties are of course much better when you go indie.  If I obtain success as an indie, I’ll gladly accept entrance into the world of the big publishers, as long as I don’t have to give up my rights to the electronic versions of my work.

Rosemary Lynch

Impatience and realism ~ The chances of finding an agent in the UK is very slim.

J. Naomi Ay

I really just did it on a whim.  I had written the novel for myself more than 20 years ago and didn’t think it would ever see the light of day.  I wasn’t brave enough to start querying agents or publishers so I really did nothing with it.  I didn’t know if it was good or bad and frankly, I thought anybody who read it might have thought I was crazy for imagining all this.  I got an iPad last year and started downloading ebooks and then sort of stumbled on Amazon KDP and figured out I could do it too and do it under a pen name. Even after I published, I didn’t tell anyone until I started having some reasonable sales numbers and then I came clean to friends and family.

Melissa Love

I had a bad experience with my last publishing company and most of the books that I read are from indie authors. I decided to go that route myself and loved it.

Jeremy Laszlo

I decided to publish independently for various reasons, however the deciding factors for me were time and control.  At one point I had several agents that seemed interested, made suggestions dealing with my first manuscript, however none of them panned out.  I did not like the process of submitting to agents only to wait (sometimes for months) for a reply, and even at one point got a mass email (that was meant as an inner office joke) from one agency where they bulk rejected several hundred authors including myself without so much as reading a single submittal.  Apparently someone (who I will not name here) should learn what “reply all” means.  That was the real turning point for me, however the ability to control the entire publishing process myself was a great bonus as well.

Darlene Jones

I was at a writers’ conference in Portland. My writing buddy and I both pitched our books to one agent. A week or two later we both got rejections from her. Here’s the punch line. For two different genres and two very different writing styles, she sent the exact same rejection note. Also, at the conference there was a lot of talk about self-publishing. One speaker said, “It’s taken me two years to get my client’s book published. Do it yourself, it will take two months.” We both thought, “Why not?”

Emiliana Erriquez

I tried traditional publishing in the past and found out it was hard for a new author to be noticed that way. The indie movement gave me the opportunity to reach people all over the world. I can share with them my ideas, my interests, my reviews, ask them for help and help them in return. I think it is wonderful. That’s my favourite part of indie publishing.

Whitney Moore

For me there was nothing else I ever wanted to do. It took me a while to get over the despair even after the market opened up on Amazon – the feeling was that only mainstream authors were ‘real authors’. So, for me the real task has been changing my view of success. Really I have to give some credit here to Joanna Penn from the Creative Penn  because she is always positive and realistic about indie publishing and marketing even when others aren’t.

The seeds for writing were planted when I was 10 and I started writing comic books just for myself. Then when I saw Jurassic Park I wanted to write a novel so bad I tried writing one about the same subject. I wrote my first full length novel when I was 18 and tried my hand at self publishing on Lulu. It was so bad that I stopped thinking about being a professional writer in any capacity. I didn’t start trying again until I was in college and found out about writing articles for money online. At that point I had a blog and was studying Visual Communications so the seeds were sprouted…

Larissa Hinton

I decided that after a massive amount of research (mostly through JA Konrath’s blog) that traditional publishing wasn’t for me. I spent years trying to write better books, better query letters, better research and after all of this effort, I just got more and more frustrated. I know I’m a talented and committed writer. Why wasn’t I able to get published?

So, after some pushy and strong arguments from my professor, I checked out JA Konrath’s blog and read more compelling arguments. The choice was clear: either I continued to do the same thing and try even harder to break into the traditional publishing industry, or I could try a different tactic and self-publish my books. Needless to say, I chose self-publishing and never looked back.

Elizabeth Baxter

I actually turned down a publishing contract to go indie. Why? Because I’m slightly crazy. My publisher was a small one, and they had originally given me a contract for both paperback and eBook, but halfway through the process they restructured and changed to eBook only. They still wanted to publish my book but gave me the option of taking back the rights. It was around the time self-pubbing went crazy so I’d been researching it. I thought to myself, “I’m sure I could do this myself. Sounds like hard work but fun!” So I got the rights back and did it myself. And yes, it was hard work and fun. Time is yet to prove if it was crazy!

Sarka-Jonae Miller

I felt that my book was ready to be published and it was taking too long to find a large publishing house to print it. I’m also working on the sequel and figured I’d better get book 1 out there soon or the series would start backing up and feel dated.

David Berger

After over 25 years of working on the manuscript, I simply wanted to get the book out into the world. The closest thing I can compare it to is being “pregnant” for that long and just wanting to give birth. I have poured my heart and soul into Task Force: Gaea, and going indie felt like the right thing to do. If a traditional published saw the novel and wanted to publish/promote it, that would be grand, but if not—then indie I shall be.

Deanna Lynn Sletten

To be quite honest, I went indie because after sending out dozens of query letters to agents and publishers and getting nowhere, I decided that if I wanted to publish my books, I’d have to do it myself. I haven’t regretted it at all. It’s the best decision I could have made.

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